I usually vote for the Republican candidate, because he or she usually has policy positions closer to mine than the Democrat. But sometimes, I vote for a third party or abstain from voting to express my dissatisfaction with both parties’ selections. I think low turn out sends a negative mandate, and I want to participate in giving that message.
Because I’d like to have a say in whom the Republican Party nominates for office, I’m registered as a Republican. (I think NY has closed primaries – and I strongly believe that all primaries should be closed – so it seems to me only right that if one wants to vote in a party’s primaries, one should join the party.) But I don’t believe that “joining” one of our major political parties commits one to that party’s platform or obliges one to defend what that party’s leaders do. Especially, as now, when what that party’s leaders do is indefensible.
I’m the first to argue that BHO has no mandate, that his election was a perfect storm of anti-Bush sentiment, economic collapse, and feel-good expiation of racial taint. But there are things that both parties want to do that the Republicans are refusing to do because it is more important to them that BHO and his party get blamed for things staying bad than that things get better. That strategy is not necessarily objectionable: one can imagine a ruling party so bad that getting them out of power is worth any price. But IMHO, this ain’t that. This is just sore losers trying to get their perks back.
And what good would a “return to power” do the GOP once they’ve established that the role of the minority is to gum up the works? They are destroying the car they want to drive. I hope that BHO presses and succeeds in his efforts to embarrass GOP legislators for standing in the way - for voting against bills they themselves sponsored, for putting "blanket" holds on nominations to extort pork for their districts - all in the cynical expectation that the the majority will be blamed if things don't get better.
Meanwhile, the party leadership continues to act as if Sarah Palin might actually be Presidential material. What better badge of unseriousness can a party have than the adoration of so empty a suit? The 2008 ticket was a match made in Democrat heaven: a Prez with a short life expectancy backed up by a Veep with no qualifications. It’s scary that they won the states they did.
Anyway, one expects Democrats to complain about GOP tactics, but rants by disaffected Republicans like me are less likely to be dismissed as partisan crap. I may be wrong, but I’m not predisposed to be where I am, and that ought to count for something.